MP4-24 Performing Better Than Anticipated


World champion Lewis Hamilton says his McLaren team is looking stronger than expected following practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday.

The Briton, who finished in fourth place at the Australian Grand Prix before he was disqualified, posted the 11th fastest time in today's afternoon session.

Hamilton said his car was still lacking grip, but admitted the MP4-24 was performing better than he had anticipated.

"Clearly, we still need a bit more grip but our balance, particularly through the high-speed stuff, felt good. The car felt stronger than I expected," said the Briton.

Team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was also encouraged by the car's performance over long runs after finishing as ninth fastest.

"The track grip was immediately good, and less dusty than in Australia," Kovalainen said. "We've made some good progress with the car's development.

"As we started pushing, the car started to move around quite a bit and was more difficult to drive. But our consistency over the long runs looks quite promising. I just need some air con in the car - it's totally boiling!"